The Big Sky will reduce men’s and women’s basketball conference schedules to 16 matches for each team during the 2020-21 season, the conference announced Friday.
The change removes four games from the 20-game round robin that had been played by the 11-school league each of the previous two seasons, including the University of Northern Colorado. Finance played a minor role at least in the decision, according to a statement by Congressional Commissioner Tom Wistrcill.
“This one-year adjustment to our conference basketball schedules is an appropriate measure that will bring significant cost savings to our affiliated institutions and give our basketball programs greater flexibility in planning non-conferences,” said Wistrcill in a press release. “I applaud the leaders of our schools in striking the right balance between providing opportunities for our student athletes to compete while recognizing the need to make changes for the coming year.”
The conference season begins on New Year’s Eve and the schedule will be announced later. Geography will help decide which teams will play against each other twice and which will play each other once during conference play. It is up to each school to decide whether or not to replace lost conference games with non-conference matches.
The conference tournaments still include all 11 schools and are held for the third year in a row at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. They are scheduled for March 8-13, 2021.